When I was an adolescent, you would have had to beg, cajole, bribe, order, or trick me into exercising, at least for the most part. I sometimes went for voluntary walks, but that was about the extent of it. Anything else was far more than I wanted to attempt. Which is why I find days like today so fascinating.
To preface, my normal routine these days is to get up, eat breakfast, perform morning ablutions, pat the kitties, exercise, and then catch the bus to work. The exercise can take different forms, but I usually try to get in at least 40 minutes every morning, whether it be going for walks, or working out at home with hand weights and doing sit-ups, etc.
But then there are days like today, where I overslept and didn’t have time for all of that if I wanted to get to work in time for my 8 a.m. meeting. Normally what I do in these situations is walk to work, or at least walk part way, but this morning it was raining. While brushing my teeth, I considered my options. I could skip morning exercise altogether, or I could brave the rain and get in at least some of a walk. In the end, I decided to venture out into the weather. And sheltered within waterproof shoes, rain paints, water resistant jacket, hat, gloves, and umbrella, it wasn’t bad.
Even so, I only got 20 minutes in, which wasn’t long enough. Let me pause right there. I actually thought, “I haven’t exercised enough.” My self of 15 years ago would wonder what world she fell into to be having such thoughts, some surreal, impossible alternate reality. And yet, it’s true that the lack bothered me most of the day, as it bothers me on days that for some reason I’m not able to do any real exercise.
And this is not the first time I’ve ventured out in strange weather. I’ve been known to walk in temperatures down to single digits (depending on wind chill), or in snow, although snow tempts me more to get out cross country skiing. I do draw the line at sleet/freezing rain/dangerous wind chills/mornings when there’s black ice everywhere, but otherwise, I’m often game.
Today, though, I wasn’t quite sure where I’d get any other chance to exercise. My work schedule was hectic enough that I didn’t have any opportunity during lunch, and I had a bunch of other things (like blogging) that I wanted to do in the evening. Then, a little before the end of the day, my tired brain came up with a brilliant solution – I’d walk home. In the rain.
This was actually perfect. I was feeling a little off, a common occurrence on days when my sleep is messed up, and I knew the exercise would help me feel better. Pause again. Exercise would make me feel better. It wouldn’t make me homicidal or suicidal or feel like I was going to collapse with a heart attack or just in a fit of weeping. It would actually be positive.
And it was kind of fun, in a way, dodging the miniature lakes (I didn’t want to test my shoes in water quite that deep), seeing the raindrops clinging to the budding trees, lulled by the patter of rain on my umbrella.
That’s not to say, though, that when I stopped at Rosemont Market and my co-worker offered me a ride the rest of the way that I turned him down. I might have had it been sunny and warm, but with the rain and wind picking up and a piece of my umbrella having just broken, I accepted gladly. I may be obsessed, but I’m not overtly masochistic. At least, not yet. Give me another 10 years, and who knows.